Criss Cove

Criss Cove County Park is a 45 acre recreation area that provides fishing, camping and hiking. Criss Cove is typical of Southern Iowa grassland habitat with many native Red Cedars scattered throughout the area. Criss Cove provides users with a high quality 9 acre pond fishery that allows easy access for both shoreline fishing as well as an access for non-motorized boat/canoe fishing. Access to the pond is open year round. Modern and primitive camp sites are provided through the spring, summer and fall each year. Public Hunting is NOT allowed. Due to Criss Cove’s location at the intersection of U.S Highway 169 and County Road G-61, Criss Cove is easily accessed and provides a family friendly atmosphere.

Facilities & Features

  • 9 Acre Pond
  • Fishing Jetties (4) – one is handicapped accessible
  • Groomed shoreline fishing locations
  • Boat Landing & Docks for small boats & canoes (electric motors only)
  • Modern & Primitive Campgrounds
  • Pit-Vault Bathrooms
  • Hiking Trail


Fishing: Pond fishing is good in this 9 acre pond. Maximum depth of over 23 feet, and a spring fed water source helps maintain an optimum fishery. Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, Crappie and Channel Catfish are kept stocked in the pond. Fishing is available year round.

Camping: The campground is located in the northwest corner of the park on a ridge overlooking the pond. There are 16 designated rock camping pads provided for campers and RV’s. Each modern site is serviced with 50-30-20 amp outlets and rural water hookups. A primitive group tent site is available at the west end of the campground. Pit-vault bathrooms are provided. Showers are not available. Click for additional information about camping at Criss Cove.

Hiking: A groomed trail circles through the west half of the park providing a convenient connection between the campground area and the pond. The trail loops through the southwest corner of the park taking visitors through stands of Red Cedar and the beginnings of a natural regeneration of native grasses and wildflowers. The trail is approximately 1/4 mile in length.

Nature Study & Photography: Species of prairie grasses and wildflowers have gradually begun regenerating in this area since the Conservation Board purchased the park in 1983. Once grazing was removed as a retardant to native grasses and forbs, many native species typically found in “dry prairies” began to naturally reappear making this a good site to explore from early April through late September. A prime area to concentrate on is the hillside above the main parking lot on the west side of the pond. One of the most striking and visible species is the bright orange Butterfly Milkweed. The wetland areas along the shoreline provide an excellent location to explore the diverse aquatic plant, animal and insect life found at Criss Cove.


Criss Cove is located approximately 8 miles south of Winterset. From Winterset travel south on U.S. 169 approximately 8 miles. Park is located at the southwest corner of the intersection of U.S. 169 and County Road G-61.

911 Address: NA
GPS Coordinates (UTM @ west parking lot): X:412550 Y:4562900, UTM Zone 15